A National (US) Warheads to Windmills Campaign:
- Encouraging climate and anti-nuclear weapons campaigns to join together in coalitions and encourage others to join them.
- Calling on the President to sign the TPNW and to support negotiations for a Fossil Fuel Treaty.
- Calling on Members of Congress to support and co-sponsor the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Climate Conversion bill (H.R.2775), the Earth bill (H.R.598) and other bills that directly call for phasing out and totally abolishing nuclear weapons and/or fossil fuels.
- Calling on the US government to use every tool and mechanism at its disposal to find a peaceful resolution to the war in Ukraine, to defuse tensions with China, and work on a lasting solution for the Middle East.
- Calling on national faith-based organizations, labor unions, political groups, civic organizations, associations and other national groups to divest from both fossil fuels and nuclear weapons, to boycott their products and publicly shame them until such time as they agree to support the abolition of nuclear weapons and fossil fuels.
The US did not invade Ukraine – Russia did. The US is not responsible for the largest carbon emissions – China is. The US does not even have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world – Russia does. Nevertheless, the US is absolutely key to solving all these problems. The US invented the nuclear weapon. It’s the only country to have used it in war. It has led every step of the way in developing more and more advanced, powerful and “effective” nuclear weapons. The US has also put more carbon into the atmosphere historically than any other country, and it has the economy most able to support a global transition to a fossil-free future.
For those of us who live in the US, this is also the only country we have any control over. It is all very well to be demanding that Russia stop its war in Ukraine, but ultimately it is the Russian people who have to make that demand of their own government. The same applies to every other country in the world – it’s the people who live and vote in those countries who need to be the ones making demands of their own governments. We can all be supporting each other to do that.
While many US-Americans like to think that the US has the most democratic form of government in the world, that is clearly not the case. It’s the largest corporations and the wealthiest people who call the shots in Washington.
Urging the President to sign treaties
Nevertheless, as US-Americans, it’s our prime responsibility to be calling for the President to sign the TPNW and to support negotiations for a Fossil Fuel Treaty. If we in the US are not making that demand, who will?
The best we can hope for in terms of Congress is to move the needle from wherever particular Members of Congress are now on the climate and nuclear spectrums to a point nearer to the “abolitionist” end of those spectrums.
There are various bills in Congress that would address the nuclear threat and build on the climate legislation that was passed in 2022. None of these bills have any chance of getting passed by a divided Congress, but they are a useful focal point for challenging Members of Congress to do more.
Focus on the corporations at the national level
While continuing to work on Congress and the President, it’s important to also focus on targeting the corporations. As difficult as it may sound, there are no easy shortcuts to making a real difference to a situation that is as urgent and as serious as this. Resolutions are not enough. Even divestment on its own may not be enough. We need organizations and institutions at the national level, as well as many more at the state and local levels, to be unequivocally standing up and shouting, “No! We are not willing to continue as before. This has to change. And we are prepared to put our money where our mouth is.”
It takes a lot of organizing, probably some cajoling and, if necessary, direct action to get big institutions to budge on anything, especially if it involves money. But without that, we will not get the results we need.